Yield Evaluation of Seventeen Lucerne Cultivars in the Beijing Area of China

  •  Yan Sun    
  •  Qingchuan Yang    
  •  Junmei Kang    
  •  Wenshan Guo    
  •  Tiejun Zhang    
  •  Yan Li    


Both high dry matter yield and good quality of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) are important for hay production. From 2001 to 2007, a field study was conducted to evaluate the dry matter yield of seventeen cultivars in the Beijing area, China, and to determine the most suitable cultivars for this area. Seventeen lucerne cultivars were sown in late March of 2001 and were harvested for hay four times in each subsequent year. The results showed that, averaged across the six years, the top three cultivars with the highest annual dry matter yield were ‘Germany’ (16.9 t/ha), ‘Baoding’ (16.3 t/ha) and ‘Zhongmu No.1’ (15.7 t/ha), respectively. These cultivars were also the three with the greatest plant heights and dry matter yields at the first harvest. Yields varied between years, with the third year being the highest and the sixth, the lowest. Across all six years, the fourth harvest was the lowest yielding and had the lowest leaf to stem ratio whilst the first harvest had the highest yield and plant height and the second harvest, the highest ratio of leaf to stem. ‘Germany’ and ‘Zhongmu No.1’ had high persistence and resistance to disease and insects.

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